In another classic example of “adaptive reuse,” London is taking its dingy abandoned docks in the east-end and turning them into something spectacular for the 2012 Olympics.
This post-industrial area is being converted into a lavish place for housing, new infrastructure, and even parks, including the aptly named Pleasure Gardens, a “60,000 square-meter waterfront park with wild and formal gardens, restaurants, cafes, art, and cultural activities.”
Business will be booming during the Olympics, and location is everything. This site was selected because of its proximity to the ExCel centre where the awards ceremony will be taking place, and 40,000 people per day are expected to come through the area. That’s a lot of traffic through an otherwise empty section of one of the world’s greatest cities.
What else can visitors look forward to? Bands, artwork, sculpture gardens, outdoor acrobats, and even wild meadows filled with flowers, sweet peas, and blackberries that have been left running wild around the docks over the past 50 years.
We dig such ingenuity and creative uses for space, and are reminded of the brilliant and luxurious grain-silo-turned-opera-house in Marseille. The endeavour was a success; after all, why tear something down when you can just improve on great design?
What we really want to know, however, is can we eat the blackberries?